Open just about any kitchen cabinet in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, and you’ll find a serving platter, pitcher or heavy stack of plates from M.A. Hadley Pottery. When I was a kid, we always took out-of-towers to Hadley’s musty factory showroom to stock up on stoneware emblazoned with the company’s signature blue-and-white designs—something about those handpainted scenes of girls in ruffle dresses and cows wearing bells charmed everyone into buying at least a mug or two. The company is 70 years old, and because of its old-fashioned appeal and the fact that I’d always experienced it on such down-home terms, I never considered the possibility that they might be doing a thriving e-commerce business today. Then I got an e-mail last week announcing that Hadley collectors who didn’t have retailers in their area could now order the pottery online. I clicked on the link and a Hadley place setting appeared on my screen, instantly taking me back to every family dinner I ever remember (I could practically smell the biscuits rising). A little further research revealed there are actually some Chicagoland stores that carry Hadley (like Yankee Peddler at 16 E. 1st Street in Hinsdale)…country scene butter dish, here I come.
3 months ago